When all the nation had finished passing over the Jordan, the Lord said to Joshua, “Take twelve men from the people, from each tribe a man, and command them, saying, ‘Take twelve stones from here out of the midst of the Jordan, from the very place where the priests’ feet stood firmly, and bring them over with you and lay them down in the place where you lodge tonight.'” Then Joshua called the twelve men from the people of Israel, whom he had appointed, a man from each tribe. And Joshua said to them, “Pass on before the ark of the Lord your God into the midst of the Jordan, and take up each of you a stone upon his shoulder, according to the number of the tribes of the people of Israel, that this may be a sign among you. When your children ask in time to come, ‘What do those stones mean to you?’ then you shall tell them that the waters of the Jordan were cut off before the ark of the covenant of the Lord. When it passed over the Jordan, the waters of the Jordan were cut off. So these stones shall be to the people of Israel a memorial forever.” Joshua 4:4-7
“This day shall be for you a memorial day, and you shall keep it as a feast to the Lord; throughout your generations, as a statute forever, you shall keep it as a feast. Exodus 12:14
This weekend the USA remembers and honors those who have lost their lives in service for their country.
The rainbow, the Passover, the Feast of the Tabernacles, The stones of the River Jordan are just a few of the many memorials mentioned in the Bible.
There are places, people, even smells that trigger memories, just like the memorial stones in Gilgal.
Those memorial stones were meant to remind the Israelites of their personal experience, which they needed to transfer to their children.
This memorial will cause the children to ask, “What do these stones mean to you?”
They were a personal reminder to all those who were present of what they have experienced.
Memorial Day is celebrated every year. Why? Because we need to keep telling the story.
You too, need to keep telling your story. Keep a clear memory of what God did for you. Keep on telling your story so that you never lose your own sense of awe and wonder of what God has done in your life.
The memorial stones were to be a signpost to a lost world.
“He did this so that all the peoples of the earth might know that the hand of the LORD is powerful and so that you might always fear the LORD your God.”
God’s plan has always been that the whole world should “know” that He is the only living God. Therefore, not only was the crossing of the Jordan a stirring event for Israel, but it was also a terrifying event for all the people living in the land of Canaan.
A memorial is a visible reminder of the faithfulness of God.
A memorial is a time to cast away old failures.
“On the tenth day of the first month, the people went up from the Jordan and camped at Gilgal on the eastern border of Jericho. And Joshua set up at Gilgal the twelve stones they had taken out of the Jordan.”
On the tenth day of the first month, it is exactly forty years to the day since Israel marched out of Egypt. Leaving the river’s edge, the Israelites went to a place called Gilgal to make their camp. Gilgal was “on the eastern border of Jericho. Gilgal means “the reproach has been rolled away.”
Forty years of spiritual defeat and failure have been moved away. It was the dawn of a great new beginning in a new land. The days of hopeless wandering in the wilderness were behind them. They were now a people with a powerful new sense of purpose, determined to take new territory for God.
Likewise, we too should be able to look back and see those memorials which stand out as times when God changed our directions and gave us hope and a new sense of purpose.
The most splendid memorial of all, though, is the memorial Jesus left for us to remind us of His sacrificial death on the Cross and His resurrection.
“And when He had taken a cup and given thanks, He said, “Take this and share it among yourselves; for I say to you, I will not drink of the fruit of the vine from now on until the kingdom of God comes.” And when He had taken some bread and given thanks, He broke it and gave it to them, saying, “This is My body which is given for you; do this in remembrance of Me.” Luke 22:17-20
We all have memorials in our lives, certainly not a monument of stones, but ones built of memories.
What memorials do you have? Would love for you to share with us.
Happy Memorial Day.
We have some exciting news to share with you. Listen to Wahid Wahba, President of 4G3.
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